BassWestUSA - January/February, 2010, Page 76

pro file

Small Package - Big Bites

ima talking Flit 100


DesigneD by FLW Pro MicHaeL MurPHy

Length: Weight: Type: Hooks:

3.9 in. 3/8 oz. Suspends 3-5 ft. Owner Size 6 Trebles

MIChael MurPhy

avaiLabLe in 8 coLors

Chartreuse Shad

American Shad

Olive Herring

Ghost Minnow

Tennessee Shad

Ghost Tennessee Shad

Pro Blue

Phantom Craw

late winter means cold water, and it also means that bass are waiting for the longer days to warm the water to the point that they start thinking about feeding up for spawning. While the weather is less than ideal, the fish will tend to suspend, conserving as much energy as possible, but that doesn’t mean they won’t eat. This is jerkbait time, and that is why I designed the Flit jerkbaits from Ima. We initially came out with the Flit 120; which is an awesome bait, but soon realized we needed a smaller jerkbait that was better in shallower water and high pressure set- tings. That was the genesis of the Flit 100. This 3.9-inch jerkbait is perfect when fish are in four feet of water or less, and it shines on shallow flats, around stumps and isolated cover in shallow water. In the pre- spawn, as fish suspend, they are less likely to roam in search of food, but they will respond to a slow moving bait, that has the appearance of a dying minnow. I use the Flit 100 to imitate a minnow that has succumbed to the harsh winter condi- tions. I start by making a long cast; which is easy with this bait as it has a sleek design and strategically placed steel weights that produce rocket casts despite its relatively small size, as well as precise action. But, instead of making long, aggressive jerks with the rod as I do when the water is warmer, I use a subtle cadence. I use a series of shorts pulls and twitches when the water is in the high 40’s to low 50’s, but even more important is the amount of time I let the Flit 100 suspend between movements; the colder the water, the longer the pause. I may allow the bait to sit station- ary for as long as a minute or more, strikes will occur as the bait is paused on a semi-slack line, or just as you start another twitch. The 100 is designed to move the same as the 120, but on a smaller scale. The walk is not as severe. It only has half the twitch and it doesn’t have as much sound because there aren’t as many BBs and they’re in two chambers instead of three. It’s a softer, less intrusive version of the same bait. It’s the same kind of ping, but at times when the fish are skittish, it’s possible to get too much sound. I throw the Flit 100 on 8 to 10-pound-test fluorocarbon line, as the low stretch help me feel every movement of the bait; while the density of the line helps me achieve better depth on a retrieve. I use a 6.3:1 gear ratio baitcasting reel for fishing the Flit 100, as it helps me to pick up line quickly between pauses and when I need to gather line quickly to set the hook. As for rod choice, I worked with Denali to build a jerkbait rod that had the action I wanted; plenty of backbone with a soft tip. My 6’ 8” Michael Murphy Signature rod is perfect for this bait. The Flit 100 comes in eight colors, with everything from chromes, to ghost minnow to chartreuse shad, so we have a hue that will work wherever you are. I like transparent colors for clear water, and opaque colors for stained water. But, if the water is muddy, I tend to use some other technique than a jerkbait. The Flit 100 is perfect for that situation when it seems everyone on the lake is pounding the shallows; it perfectly imitates the juvenile shad in the fall, or a shore min- now fleeing from a predator. But, don’t let the size fool you, I’ve caught plenty of big bass on it. Bass are like us, we like a big meal, but there are times when just a little snack is enough. BW



January/February 2010